Wrestling preparing to take down all obstacles between them and nationals
The College at Brockport’s wrestling team has started off this season with room to improve and a lot of potential; there have already been some stellar performances on the mat leading to an overall team finish in the top five several times so far.
Going into this past weekend’s tournament, the team practiced in the wrestling room on its technique, power and stamina by running through drills combining specific moves with quick footwork. There is no doubt the young team wants to end the season by having Golden Eagles performing in regionals and then nationals as well as being designated as All-Americans.
When asked what the men need to work on in order to accomplish these goals and expectations, Head Coach Don Murray responded with “everything.”
“I think they just have to work on some intensity, motion, just basic stuff that comes with time,” Murray said. “Also getting to enjoy going through this challenge of their comfort zone where they’re having to push back even when they’re tired. They’re good one day and then a little off the next, which is true in many things.”
Although Murray is tough on his team, he talks with great respect and pride about its accomplishments and discipline as the student-athletes balance both high academic standards and high physical expectations on the mat. The wrestlers tend to be hard on themselves as well, keeping their individual and team expectations for the season at an aspiring level.
“We’re definitely not performing at where we could be,” junior Sean O’Hagan said. “I think we can be a top notch team and we have some upsetting weekends. We had a good move in the Union Tournament but that’s about one of the best we’ve wrestled so far and we want to get to a better level.”
The plan is to stay level headed, work hard at conditioning and pick up the pace when running through takedown drills and moves on top.
For junior Jon Haas, who transferred this year, the team is a way to help adjust to a new school and improve his skillset on the wrestling mat. Getting accustomed to the new training and coaching staff as well as the team has resulted in nothing but great things for Haas who says that his goal is to keep improving with every match.
“Score points each match, keep getting better each day, each match; that’s it,” Haas said about his plan for the season. “Coming here and getting accustomed … I get along with everybody real well. Everything’s been a smooth transition from Bloomsburg to here. It’s been good so far and it’s my hometown.”
As Haas is enjoying his time wrestling for the college, he’s grown up around and begun to make his mark on the team; Senior Dillon Stowell is working towards his ultimate goal of making it to nationals and becoming an All-American this season.
“Last year at this time I had missed a few matches, a few tournaments because I had hurt my thumb but this year I’ve wrestled in every match,” Stowell said. “I’ve lost some close matches to some pretty good kids, a couple All-American, a couple kids that are nationally ranked. So just a few close matches, a couple mistakes but you learn and get better throughout the year from them.”
For this team made up of mostly underclassmen, the expectations the wrestlers have put on themselves are to do the best they can and here great success this year. As the academic semester draws to a close and the weather gets colder, in the wrestling world the season is just beginning to heat up.
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